Balance suggestion: Increase cost of Scouts

For those unaware, currently Scouts cost 60f.

There’s a general consensus amongst high level players that these things are OP at the moment:

  1. Mongols
  2. Current Rus meta (professional scouts / fast castle / warrior monks / Scouts+Horse Archer combo)
  3. Professional Scouts technology

Increasing the cost of Scouts would be an indirect nerf to all three of these. It would make Professional Scouts a more costly investment, thereby making it more punishable. It would be a bit of an all-round nerf to the Rus meta which requires a lot of Scouts. Admittedly, it would only be a minor dent to the Mongols, but that’s better than nothing.

I don’t have a specific cost increase in mind. Maybe 75f or 80f?

Any thoughts on this idea? Do you think it makes sense? Are there any potential unintended consequences?


I am not sure exactly how to deal with the issue but think that slower scouts when picking up carcasses has been the best suggestion so far to reduce the effectiveness of professional scouts. It would be far more risky to go for forward hunts and make your own hunts easier to defend.

Based on 4 to 7 scouts being built, this would be a range of 60 to 140 extra food taking into account the 75 to 80 food cost that you have in mind. Some people are building 9 during the pro scouts phase which would be 135 to 180 food on that range. Will this really change anything in terms of the utility of the scout? Seems unlikely, it would just make certain tactics with scouts slightly less effective as you would have less scouts in the same time frame.

It would however make the use of scouts early on more costly in terms of age up times depending on how many you build (due to the much smaller size of your economy when building these early in Age 1).


Nerfing Scout directly because 2/8 civ can spam them too easily is bad choice just like what they did to generic Knight and Hand Cannon

My suggestion would be:

  • add a wood/gold cost to the scout, depending on the civ. So a civ that use the scouts a lot will have them more expensive, then one that doesn’t use them that much.
  • Have the carcasses of the animals rot like aoe2 if they aren’t either near a TC/mill (like 2/3 tiles max) or on the the top of a scout.

So people will be more careful on just killing all wildlife on the map

Yeah I’ve heard that as well, and slowing the scouts would help. What concerns me is the risk of rendering Professional Scouts completely useless which could happen if, for example, a spearman can outrun a scout carrying a carcass. Interestingly, if you play the campaigns you can see the slowed scouts in action. Scouts carrying carcasses and monks carrying relics walk slower, albeit probably too slow. I don’t know why the campaigns are different (there are other differences too); I guess they were was made on an old version of the balance and they didn’t want to break it, so they saved it like that.

And I think you’ve hit the nail on the head in terms of my suggestion: it’s not about hurting the utility of the Scout, it’s about hurting the meta strategies. By increasing the cost of scouts it means you have to create less in the first age. Then you have to make a decision: 1) make less scouts in the second age, thus slowing down the return of carcasses; or, 2) make the same number of scouts, thus delaying the age up. In both cases it makes the Rus meta less effective.

I’m just spitballing as to how much the scout cost should increase. It could be anything. The key is to find the sweet spot where the current meta is nerfed, such that it’s no longer crazy OP, but still remains a viable strategy.

I think slowing them down while carrying carcasses is much better than increasing their food cost. Increasing their food cost would also nerf their use against seige vs horsemen. For Mongol scouts doing something to ovoo 2x costs/ovoo stone gathering rate would be better.

It’s good that the developers don’t read you :rofl:
P.S.If they do read, then if you blind the scouts and other cavalry in Rus, then stone walls and Strelcy on them should appear 100%. After all, the company you mentioned has them :v::wink:

Qi also think that they should nerf scouts. Their function is scout, no kill units, burn stuff…
Si at meast make them way more expensive is a good idea. People would not spam them and will balance the deer thieving

Nerfing prof scouts would make it useless. If you play against rus you need to know that a core tactic against them is to denie them the hunts, if you can’t manage to do that its a player problem, not a balance issue.

Well, scouts should be used for exploration. And you already start with one. Maybe a second one to help (or hunt if you are rus).

Increase price will make harder mass them and exploit the tec and recover tons of deer meat xD

Whether or not Professional Scouts becomes “useless” depends on what action is taken to nerf it. It’s about finding the sweet spot where it can serve a useful purpose within the right context, but it isn’t so strong that it’s a must-do like it is at the moment.

TheViper himself has commented on it many times. If he, as one of the best players, is unable to effectively counter Professional Scouts, I don’t think it fair to say it’s a “player problem”.

I like this as it is in-line with scholars walking slower after picking up relics

TheViper is a Top 0.001% Player, playing against other 0.001% players. I don’t think you can just take their opinion to nerf or buff things because they are at a skilllevel far beyond reason.

If you take it down to a reasonable skillbase prof scouts isn’t that op. If you now go ahead and nerf it to meet the needs of top tier players you will make it a punish for 90% of average joe players and he abadon the game sooner or later with this happening to often.

Just make scouts only available from town center (not from hut or from stable). Increase the production time. This will solve scout+horse archer combo issues.

You always balance the game around those professional players.

Why ?
The average player is worse them then, but over time even average players will practise and exploit certain mechanics leading to the same result.
On top of that, you don’t want to see pro players playing an unbalanced game in tournaments.

As so many people already mentioned, just make scouts carrying deer like 30% slower then what they are now, slow enough so one can kill them with infantry.

Would still make the tech 100% viable but would give counterplay.

It’s certainly an interesting topic of discussion - who exactly should we be balancing the game for? Probably a topic for another thread though.

I agree that Professional Scouts isn’t OP at a lower level. I myself play at a rather mediocre level and I find the tech to be useful on the odd occasion and not much more than that. But I don’t think a small increase in the cost of a scout would have such a dramatic impact on lower and mid level players, as you suggest. And I daresay, anyone who abandons the game because the cost of a scout increases from 60f to 80f is being rather dramatic :slight_smile:

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I can only speak for myself, but I definitely don’t agree with this suggestion. The Rus being able to create scouts from the Hunting Cabin is one of their core features. It’s part of the asymmetry of the game. Next you’ll be suggesting that Chinese can only build one landmark for each age, and we remove the inspiration ability from HRE Prelates.